INDIANA – A Mahomet woman was killed early Wednesday morning in a head-on collision with a semi truck on U.S. 136, according to a release from the Vermillion County, Ind., Sheriff's office.
The accident entrapped Sheryl Tooker-Nielsen, 45, in the 1992 Ford Explorer she was driving at about 5 a.m. Wednesday when, according to witness reports, her vehicle swerved over the center line and into the path of the semi. The truck was not pulling a trailer.
When emergency personnel reached the scene, the truck, a 2000 Freightliner, was engulfed in flames, but the driver, Gary R. Morgan, 51, Kentland, Ind., escaped with minor injuries. He was treated at Williamsport Hospital in Williamsport, Ind., and released.
The Ford Explorer was on the north side of the highway with Tooker-Nielsen trapped inside. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Her blood alcohol content was 0.25, according to the Vermillion County, Ind., coroner's office. That information was determined through an autopsy. The legal limit for blood alcohol content in Indiana is 0.08, as it is in Illinois, according to the Indiana Council on Impaired and Dangerous Driving.
She also tested positive for marijuana in her system, according to the Vermillion County sheriff's office press release. But the results, the release said, only show that she had ingested marijuana in the past week or two weeks. Marijuana, drug paraphernalia and open beer cans were found in Tooker-Nielsen's vehicle, according to the sheriff's office.
The driver of the semi truck also was tested for drugs and alcohol, as required by Indiana state law in all fatal accidents, officials said. Those results will not be known for several weeks, officials said, but there was no reason to believe that Morgan was under the influence of alcohol or any other controlled substances.
A witness who was about 100 to 200 feet behind Tooker-Nielsen's vehicle told authorities that the Ford Explorer was driving about 45 to 50 miles per hour, but was weaving over the road and crossed the center line right in front of the truck, the release stated.
The initial cause of the accident, pending Indiana State Police reconstruction results, was that Tooker-Nielsen drove over the center line into the path of the truck, according to the sheriff's department.
Fog also was a factor, the release stated.